I took a drive with my windows down and my jacket zipped up tonight. It was the first crisp taste of fall in the air as I got lost on back roads ten minutes from home. Sometimes the best way to get out of a rut is to do something totally different. I have been restless as I prepare for changing seasons around work and home. I am still saying goodbye to places I have not seen in a year.
What was it like for Jesus to leave heaven? In my inductive study of Matthew 1, I kept getting the impression that I should stop thinking like Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ earthly parents. I’m used to mentally rehearsing the shocking news, seeing Joseph startled out of sleep by an angel-dream, and the looks they would get as they walked together. But what about Jesus, God’s Son? What was it like to say goodbye to heaven – perfect, beautiful, at balance, and come to earth – sinful, chaotic, and constantly decaying?
“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit….
“22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.'”
It is not just the Christmas story. It is the story of everyday life…day after day of living in a human body and knowing there is so much more. How much did Jesus know as a human? He knew enough to know who He was, why He was sent, and what His mission in life was. And He lived surrounded by people who were not able to get out of the rut of sin. It frustrates me what people do, I cannot imagine being sin-less and watching the world fragment.
But Jesus is God with Us. He did not come to condemn sinful humanity, but to pull us out of the rut we cannot escape. So now we can live heaven-bound lives, seeking something better. God calls us to change our perspective and see what He is doing in the world. And while Jesus is interceding for us in heaven, His Holy Spirit is bringing new life into our lives one day at a time.
God, thank You for helping me get out of a rut in my view of the Christmas story. It will not be long before glitter and stringed lights festoon the aisles of all the stores. But we are just now changing seasons to fall, and so much is changing for me. Thank You for sending Your Son from perfection to live in imperfect here-on-earth. Thank You, Jesus, for pulling us out of the rut of sin that is all that we can normally see. Please help me to keep turning my eyes back to You and Your perspective as I walk through the day. Please help me to see the wrong thoughts to replace with Your truth, and follow Your lead on actions that are out of place in my status-quo. To Your glory, Amen.